Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Recent Adirondack Search and Rescue Operations

DEC Forest RangerWhat follows is the September 2013 Forest Ranger Activity Report for DEC Region 5, which includes most of the Adirondack region. Although not a comprehensive detailing of all backcountry incidents, these reports are issued periodically by the DEC and printed here at the Almanack in their entirety. They are organized by county, and date. You can read previous Forest Ranger Reports here.

These incident reports are a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.

The Adirondack Almanack reports current outdoor recreation and trail conditions each Thursday evening. Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Conditions Report on Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and on the stations of North Country Public Radio.

Clinton County

Town of Black Brook, Taylor Pond Wild Forest

On Friday, September 6, at approximately 3:40 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a group of hikers that were lost near the DEC Taylor Pond Campground. Karen Moore, 66, Cathie Choauvin, 68, and Bonnie Myers, 64, all of Saranac, NY, had left the campground intending to hike the 14 mile Taylor Pond Loop trail. Approximately halfway through their hike, the wet and marshy trail conditions forced the three women into the woods where they became disoriented and realized they were lost. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded with a boat and after discussing plans on the phone with the women, met them at a location on the shore of the Taylor Pond and transported them back to the campground. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Chazy, Private Land

On Monday, September 16, at approximately 6:44 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from State Police requesting assistance in locating an individual. Helen Scales, 85, from West Chazy, NY, was last seen at 3:45 pm walking along State Route 22 toward a wooded lot. Five DEC Forest Rangers and members of the Chazy and West Chazy Volunteer Fire Departments responded and began a grid search of the area. Mrs. Scales was found in good condition approximately ¼ of a mile from where she was last seen. She was evacuated via UTV due to shortness of breath and hypothermia and then transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh for further evaluation and treatment. Contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 to report lost and injured people in the backcountry.

Essex County

Town of Schroon, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

On Friday, August 30, at approximately 3:57 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a hiker with a broken leg at a lean-to on Pharaoh Lake. Donna Ryan, 53, of Clifton Park, NY, was walking down the trail when she slipped on a wet surface and rolled her leg, resulting in a severe unstable lower leg injury. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and splinted Ms. Ryan’s leg. A helicopter from State Police Aviation Unit responded with three additional DEC Forest Rangers. Two of the Forest Rangers were hoisted down to the site by the Forest Ranger operating the hoist mechanisms. The Forest Rangers placed Ms. Ryan in a harness and hoisted up to the helicopter. She was flow to a nearby landing zone in Chester managed by the Chester Volunteer Fire Department. Ms. Ryan was transferred to a North Warren EMS ambulance at 7:39 pm and transported to Glen Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness

On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 6:18 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance on Algonquin Mountain. Aleck Wu, 21, of Toronto, Ontario was descending the mountain when started having difficulty hiking due to a pre-existing knee condition. A DEC Forest Ranger and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded and found Mr. Wu to be very dehydrated but still mobile. He was provided water and then escorted back to the Adirondack Loj. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Sunday, September 8, at approximately 3:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from the DEC John’s Brook Caretaker of a hiker with a broken ankle on Lower Wolf Jaw. Sarah Houde, 33, of Ballston Spa, NY had been hiking Benny Brook Slide with her husband when the accident occurred. He hiked to the Johns’ Brook Loj to seek assistance. The DEC Caretaker accompanied the husband back to Ms. Houde to assess her condition and splinted her leg. A Forest Ranger was dispatched to the location as well, and while a second Forest Ranger accompanied the State Police Aviation Unit helicopter as the hoist operator. Ms. Houde was hoisted up to the helicopter and flown to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Elizabethtown, Giant Mountain Wilderness

On Sunday, September 8, at approximately 1:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker on Bald Peak. Morgan Raith, 19, of Middlebury, VT, had slipped injuring her ankle and was unable to bear any weight on it. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and met Ms. Raith on the trail. The Forest Ranger along with members of Ms.Raith’s hiking group carried her out to the trailhead. Ms. Raith then returned to Vermont to seek medical attention on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of St Armand, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

On Monday, September 9, at approximately 5:23 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two hikers in need of assistance. Jay Marchetti, 56, and Susan Marchetti, 55, both of Rainbow Lake, NY, were stranded in a swampy section of the Moose Pond area for over 3 hours and were unable to return without assistance. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with a canoe and quickly located the Marchettis in good condition. He rescued the pair from the wetland and brought them across Moose Pond by canoe where they were returned to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Monday, September 9, at approximately 4:30 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from two hikers that were lost and in need of assistance. Steven Allen, 49, of Mississauga, Ontario and Carmen Dragoste, 49, of Oakville, Ontario, had attempted to hike to Avalanche Pass from the Loj but became lost. A DEC Forest Ranger responded along with the DEC Marcy Dam Caretaker. Phone coordinates showed the subjects in the Pelkey Basin of Phelps Mountain. The Forest Ranger and Caretaker hiked in that direction while yelling for the two hikers without and response. DEC Dispatch contacted the Ms. Dragoste and Mr. Allen and requested they yell. The Forest Ranger was able to hear them yelling and used is compass to mark their location. The hikers were located near the summit of Phelps Mountain in good condition. After rehydrating, they were assisted back to Marcy Dam and then transported by UTV back to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Be prepared to spend the night in the woods carry extra water, food and a shelter.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Thursday, September 12, at approximately 10:29 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an overdue hiker. Douglas Courtney, 57, of Somerville, ME, left a detailed hiking itinerary with family members stating that he would be out of the woods and in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, September 10, but the family had not heard from him. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the South Meadows parking area and located Mr. Courtney’s vehicle. The Forest Rangers began searching the trails. At 4:00 pm, Mr. Courtney contacted Ray Brook Dispatch from the Adk Loj and stated that he had intentionally deviated from his original hiking plan and extended his trip by two days to continue doing day hikes from Marcy Dam. At no time had Mr. Courtney been lost or injured. Always inform someone of your itinerary. Inform them as soon as possible if you change your itinerary.

Town of Keene, Hurricane Mountain Wilderness

On Monday, September 16, 2013 at approximately 5:20 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Essex Co 911 reporting a lost hiker. Phillip Ratner, 70, of Oakdale, NY, was lost off the trail between Little Crow Mountain and Big Crow Mountains. A forecast of below freezing temperatures and Mr. Ratner’s stated health issues provided a sense of urgency to the response. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Mr. Ratner in good condition near the summit of Big Crow at 6:10pm. He was escorted back to the trailhead without any further issues. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness

On Wednesday, September 25, at approximately 3:50 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers on Whiteface Mountain. Stephen Bressett, 54, of Malone, NY and Patrick Dailey, 50, of Vero Beach, FL, had been following a trail from the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway but were now lost. Essex County 911 was able to obtain coordinates from their cell phone call. A DEC Forest Ranger responded by boat to Whiteface Landing and hiked up to the two men. They were both located in good health about halfway up to the summit and 0.2 mile off trail. At 7:00 pm Mr. Bressett and Mr. Daily were escorted back to the boat and eventually returned to their vehicle in the parking area near the summit of Whiteface Mountain. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Friday, September 20, 2013 at approximately 4:31 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Greg Elling, 51, of Ovid, NY, had injured his leg and was unable to move. A DEC Forest Ranger responded driving a UTV to the Marcy Dam and hiking from there. He located Mr. Elling 0.5 mile from Marcy Dam. The Forest Ranger assisted Mr. Elling down the trail to the UTV. He then transported the Mr. Elling back to his vehicle who then then sought further medical attention on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 1:52 pm, a DEC Assistance Forest Ranger was notified by a passing hiker of an injured hiker just above the Phelps Junction on the VanHoevenberg Trail to Mt. Marcy. Robert Pierce, 75, of Rochester, NY, twisted his left ankle while hiking but was still slowly making his way down the trail. The Assistant Forest Ranger hiked to Mr. Pierce’s location, assessed and wrapped the injury. A DEC Forest Ranger and an additional Assistant Forest Ranger responded to assist. Mr. Pierce was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV to his vehicle. He sought further medical treatment on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 8:00 pm, a DEC Interior Caretaker was notified of an injured hiker on the VanHoevenberg Trail. Paule Lettourneau, 45, of Laval, Quebec, was hiking down Mt. Marcy when she twisted her knee. Other members of her hiking party assisted in helping her down the trail. The DEC Caretaker and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to Ms. Lettourneau’s location and continued to assist her down to Marcy Dam. Ms. Lettourneau was provided transportation via UTV back to her vehicle where she decided to seek further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness

On Friday, September 27, at 2:15 pm, a DEC Interior Caretaker was notified of an injured hiker in need of assistance. Kathleen Cudmore-Bokan, 40, of West Charlton, NY, dislocated her knee on Cliff Mountain. Her husband reset her knee and wrapped it in a bandage. The DEC Caretaker assisted the couple to the high water bridge and notified the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook. One DEC Forest Ranger responded with a UTV and gave the couple a ride back to their vehicle. Ms. Cudmore-Bokan chose to seek further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness

On Saturday, September 28, at approximately 5:41 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker. Michael Perlowski, 25, of Plattsburgh, NY, had dislocated his knee while hiking on the Avalanche Pass Trail. A DEC Forest Ranger and two DEC Interior Caretakers responded to Mr. Perlowski’s location. After assessing his injury, Mr.Perlowski was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV out to his vehicle. He decided to seek further medical attention on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Franklin County

Town of Harrietstown, Saranac Lake Wild Forest

On Tuesday, September 24, at approximately 3:40 pm, an on duty DEC Forest Ranger overheard radio traffic reporting an overturned canoe on Middle Saranac Lake. The DEC Forest Ranger responded to the scene along with Saranac Lake Fire Department. Gerald Zumchak, 68, and Susan Zumchak, 66, both of Syracuse, NY, were canoeing and were caught by the wind and capsized their canoe. With the help of their son they made it to the shore, but Mr. Zumchak was very cold and unable to get back in the canoe. Saranac Lake Fire Department brought the Mr. & Mrs. Zumchak out to Saranac Lake Rescue who transported Mr.Zumchak to AMC Saranac for further evaluation. Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when paddling.

Warren County

Town of Johnsburg, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 4:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker with an ankle injury. William Keck, 55, of Wading River, NY, was descending Crane Mountain when he slipped on the steep terrain and felt a snap in his ankle. Eight DEC Forest Rangers responded. Mr. Keck’s injury was assessed and splinted. He was hoisted up to a State Police Aviation Helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone. There Mr. Keck was transferred to Johnsburg Rescue for transport. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest

On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 7:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hiker. Mary Scanlon, 49, of Cicero, NY, was descending Cat Mountain when she became lost on the trail system and had no light or map with her. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located Ms. Scanlon and escorted her back to her vehicle. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest

On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 7:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting hikers that were in need of assistance. Jeff Clark, 57, Janeellen Clark, 57 and Katherine Clark, 23, all of Ballston Spa, NY, had hiked to the summit of Cat Mountain at 2:30 pm. They decided to take the “Blue Trail” to the summit of Thomas Mountain based on information obtained from the internet. When they reached Thomas Mountain it was dark and they had no headlamps or flashlights for the return trip. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located the Clark family and assisted them back to their vehicle. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Johnsburg, Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area

On Sunday, September 29, at approximately 5:23 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of a missing hiker. Carolyn Reynerd, 79, of Poughkeepsie, NY, was with a geology group hiking to an old garnet mine from Garnet Hill Lodge. She became separated from the main group and missed a turnoff at approximately 12:00pm. Three DEC Forest Rangers, a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger and Warren County Deputies responded to the search. At 7:15pm, Ms. Reynerd was located on steep ledges 0.25 mile from Garnet Hill Lodge. The Forest Rangers put Ms. Reynerd in a harness and lowered her down to level ground. She was assisted out and assessed by Johnsburg EMS. Ms. Reynerd declined any further treatment. Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times.

 

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Stories written under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline are drawn from press releases and other notices.

To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our Editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.


More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Print Friendly



One Response

  1. Charlie s says:

    Thanks for these reports staff.I find them interesting!

    Like or Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

7ads6x98y